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AMA: Assist students to access funds for education
Ms Pauline Ayiku of the Office of the President has urged the government to create and facilitate opportunities for students to access funds to finance their education.
She said although the current students’ loan scheme had been simplified, it was still limited and emphasized the need for more financial investments to improve the quality of education.
One way government could improve students’ access to education financially, she said, was to provide educational vouchers to those in need.
Such vouchers could be given to needy students who would present them to the schools of their choice and then government could pay directly to the schools’ accounts.
Ms Ayiku was delivering a paper on "No Education, No Freedom, No Opportunity," at a forum organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
She said the government should create the necessary environment for all stakeholders of education to actively participate in the finance and provision of education.
She mentioned vocational and technical training as aspects that could improve development.
"In many countries like Ghana, vocational and technical training skills are underdeveloped. This is mainly due to lack of proper and adequate training and resources," she noted, and called for more attention to be drawn to skills of such nature.
Ms Ayiku said the training should also be structured to match market demands and called for public-private partnership to enable students in those training fields to gain more practical experience.
"Vocational and technical training should be encouraged on a large scale," she said, and suggested that certificates given to students in skills training should be accredited and standardized.
"What is taught in a vocational school in Northern Ghana should also be taught in Accra," Ms Ayiku said.
"One cannot downplay the role of quality education in the development of every country. Education, whether in a curriculum or not, should bring excitement and enrichment."
Participants expressed varied views on the issuing of education vouchers to needy students, with most of them arguing that the term "needy" should be clearly defined otherwise everybody could be said to be needy.
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